Ice cream is a universal favorite on a hot summer day and nobody can deny it. Nothing cools you down and brings comfort on a sweltering day, quite like ice cream does. What’s remarkable, is the history of ice cream actually spans worldwide and over many centuries. This is my latest creation; matcha and dark chocolate ice cream, consider it a modern twist, on an old favorite, that’s totally addictive.
The Invention of Ice Cream
The emperors of the Tang Dynasty are believed to have been the first to eat a frozen milk-like confection. Made with cow, goat or buffalo milk, this first “ice cream” was was heated and mixed with flour, camphor was added for flavor and texture. The mixture got placed in metal tubes and stored in an ice pool until frozen.
In medieval times, Arabs drank an icy refreshment called sherbet, (or sharabt in Arabic). These chilled drinks were typically flavored with cherry, pomegranate, or quince. Over time, the drinks became popular with the European and Italians.
In the 17th century iced drinks got made into frozen desserts. With the addition of sugar, sorbetto (known more commonly as sorbet) was created. Antonio Latini is credited as being the first person to write down a recipe for sorbetto. Latini also created a milk-based sorbet, considered by culinary historians to be the the first official ice cream.
The Father of Gelato
In 1686, a Sicilian named Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli opened the well-known café in Paris (Café Procope) where many famous intellectuals, such as Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon frequented. This café introduced gelato, (the Italian version of sorbet), to public. It was served in small porcelain bowls resembling egg cups. Procopio later became known as the Father of Italian Gelato.
Around the same time, the French began experimenting with a frozen dessert called fromage. French confectioner Nicolas Audiger, wrote several fromage recipes made from ices flavored with fruit as well one that included cream, sugar and orange flower water. Audiger suggested stirring ices during the freezing process introduced air and create a fluffier texture. Although fromage is the name for cheese in French, it was not an ingredient. But fomage may refer to the cheese molds that were used to freeze the ice cream.
It is impossible to say how exactly ice cream reached America, but it likely arrived with European settlers in the early 1700s. By this time, several books on confectionery had been produced and included recipes for ices and ice cream and housewives began making them at home. And in 1790, the first ice cream parlor opened in New York.
Americas Love of Ice Cream
Ice cream is one of the most popular desserts in the the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans consume an average of 23 gallons of ice cream each year. Vanilla is the most popular flavor in America, and accounts for 26 percent of the country’s ice cream sales. But according to recent study, we seem to be branching out flavor-wise, and including more adventurous flavors such as rocky road, coffee, birthday cake, and green tea.
This matcha and dark chocolate ice cream is a more modern flavor that I simply adore. Made using the same Matcha Kari I used in my match smoothie bowl, this ice cream has a smooth, creamy texture, mild matcha flavor which is complimented by the dark chocolate swirled within. You can easily adjust the match quantity based on your preference, making this a great matcha introduction recipe.
Matcha And Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tablespoons matcha
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks, roughly chopped
- Step 1 The day before, place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer.
- Step 2 For the ice cream: In a large mixing bowl add the egg yolks and sugar and whisk together until pale yellow. Set aside.
- Step 3 In a medium saucepan add the heavy cream, milk and vanilla and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Once hot, remove from the heat and whisk to blend. Next, slowly temper the warm mixture into the egg mixture. Do not pour the warm liquid into the egg mixture too quickly or you will “cook” the eggs. Mix until blended.
- Step 4 Pour the mixture back into the sauce pot and place over medium heat. Cook, while continually stirring, until thickened. The mixture should reach 170 degrees F.
- Step 5 Remove from heat and whisk the matcha into the warm mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until well chilled, about 2 hours, or overnight.
- Step 6 Once the base in cold pour into the ice cream maker. Churn, per the machine instructions, until it is the thickness of soft serve ice cream, about 20-25 minutes. Turn the machine off and mix in the chocolate.
- Step 7 Transfer the ice cream to a container you can freeze, cover with parchment paper, and freeze at least 4 hours.
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